Bloodstock Open Air - Friday
10 August 2012
Catton Hall, Derbyshire
Kicking off the first full day of Bloodstock Open Air 2012 were InComa from Reading on the New Blood Stage. The camper’s desire for some metal ensured InComa had a sizeable crowd who were pummelled with some melodic death metal. Front woman Hels Greenleaf had a vicious vocal which fell somewhere between Chuck Schuldiner and Angela Gossow. However it was the twin guitars of Paolo Barco and Craig Haden that really shone and ensured a great start to the festival.
InComa setlist included:
Alive In Fire / Dying Awake / Build The Pyre
Malefice were one of the latest additions to the festival and were not greeted with universal joy from the Bloodstock forum members. Dale Butler himself admitted from the stage that this was one of the band’s “Most daunting shows”. However, the band fair well with those gathered and Butler is able to start a circle pit on demand during second song Delirium. The band cover every inch of the stage and their tireless enthusiasm ensures that whilst perhaps not everyone’s cup of tea, they are well respected today.
Malefice setlist included:
An Architect of Your Demise / Delirium / Sickened / The Midas Effect / Omega
Control The Storm playing the New Blood stage:
There’s been a bit of a buzz about The Commander In Chief and it was therefore not surprising that the Sophie Stage was quite busy when the 22 year old Norwegian 7 string guitarist takes to the stage. I should also mention she sings, but I’d rather forget about it as my ears still hurt. Whilst her striking stage outfit of a blue military jacket with gold flashes might project arrogance, in fact she comes across quite awkward and second song Greedy Bitch was enough to send many, including myself heading from the tent.
The Commander In Chief setlist included:
Evolution / Greedy Bitch
When my notes say “F**k me, I want to tear my ears off”, it’s clear that Freedom Call are not my thing at all, so I’ll leave you to the setlist and move on to one of the day’s highlights.
Freedom Call setlist:
We Are One / United Alliance / Rockstars / Tears Of Babylon / Power & Glory / Warriors / Land Of Light / Freedom Call
With each album Grand Magus have steadily built their profile and also amassed a strong back catalogue of songs which enabled them to grip this crowd for their full 40 minute set. Somehow they have crafted songs which you feel you’ve known for a lot longer than their actual existence. What has also improved is the three pieces ability to work a bigger stage. Their giant Swedish flag Grand Magus backdrop certainly helps and the addition of Ludwig Witt on drums appears to have injected a bit more energy. Frankly the highlight was the entire set which left all those around me beaming with joy.
Grand Magus setlist:
Kingslayer / Like The Oar Strikes The Water / Ravens Guide Our Way / Sword Of The Ocean / I, The Jury / Valhalla Rising / Hammer Of The North
Primitai playing the Sophie Stage:
Finally on a roll, Moonsorrow pick up the baton and run with it. Their mixture of Viking, folk and black metal builds into soundscapes that range from the feeling of marching into battle (Sankarihauta) to washing over and uplifting you (Huuto). Smeared with blood, the Finnish band meant business and repeated the success of their 2008 set at Bloodstock.
Ukkosenjumalan poika / Huuto / Sankarihauta / Kivenkantaja / Sankaritarina
Iced Earth were also here in 2008, though then their set seemed to lack the killer edge. Matt Barlow sang that day and coincidentally the man who held the mic for a spell between Barlow’s stints, Tim Ripper Owens, was on site with Dio Disciples. No Ripper guest appearance with Iced Earth unsurprisingly today and material from his era was absent. However, Stu Block appears to be settling into the frontman role well and aside from dropping the microphone during opener Dystopia he put in a confident performance. Band leader Jon Schaffer looked the happiest I’ve seen him on stage and appeared to have opened his wardrobe to the rest of the band, with the band sporting a uniform look.
Iced Earth setlist:
Dystopia / Burning Times / Angels Holocaust / Slave To The Dark / Watching Over Me / V / My Own Savior / Anthem / Boiling Point / Damien / Iced Earth
With no Cavalera’s in the band the credibility ofSepultura continuing to use their name has often been questioned. Personally I’ve struggled to get into the Derrick Green era albums but Sepultura turned out to be something of a surprise package today. It doesn’t hurt that they opened with two old classics in Beneath The Remains and Refuse/Resist, the later in particular encouraging the crowd to go mental. A run of recent material through the middle of the set fairs well, but things are once again really lifted with Territory. Here there is a Ripper Owens guest appearance with the singer trading verses with the massive Green. Arise tears the place up leading to Green exclaiming “You guys are awesome”. It was left to Roots Bloody Roots to close things out in style.
Beneath The Remains / Refuse/Resist / Kairos / Convicted In Life / Dialog(?) / Mask / Territory / Arise / Roots Bloody Roots
Pythia playing the Sophie Stage:
We’d had the pleasure of catching Dio Disciples on the Monday before Bloodstock and what better way to lead us into the evening session than another sing along to classic after classic. Aside from bassist James LoMenzo, all the musician’s in the band played with Ronnie James Dio so it’s no surprise that musically these songs are played spot on. It’s the Dio vocal that can never be replaced, but Tim Ripper Owens and, perhaps more surprisingly, Toby Jepson treat the songs with respect. With a set spanning Rainbow, Black Sabbath and the Dio band the performance continued to build to the point when the band simply can’t leave without treating us to one more gem with Rainbow In The Dark. The longevity of this project may be questionable and with Vivian Campbell putting his own band together covering the first two Dio albums the market may get crowded. However, tonight a fitting tribute to Dio was paid and played on the Dio stage.
Dio Disciples setlist:
Stand Up and Shout / Holy Diver / Egypt (The Chains Are On) / Kill the King / The Discovery / Lord of the Last Day / All the Fools Sailed Away / Neon Knights / The Last in Line / Catch the Rainbow / Stargazer / Long Live Rock 'n' Roll / Man on the Silver Mountain / Heaven and Hell / Rainbow in the Dark
We’d been promised a twilight set and a big show from Watain, so whilst it both seemed to make sense to switch them with Dio Disciples and push a bit later, there were rumours flying round of tantrums and indeed after the show of the police being called to Watain’s hotel. Whether any of this true or not, it all just adds to their reputation. Photographers had put on waterproofs with warnings of pigs blood being thrown, though it appeared only a single chalice went flying. With flaming tridents and pots of fire across the stage, it certainly looked impressive. However, musically the band were doing nothing for me tonight so I headed off to see Alcest after a couple of songs.
Malfeitor / Sworn To The Dark / Total Funeral / The Serpent’s Chalice / Hymn To Qayin / Reaping Death / Stellarvore / Waters Of Ain
With word of no metal elements on their forthcoming album, you might expect cries of horror from Alcest’s fans, but it appears like Anathema, their natural transition is being embraced. Tonight, with a mixture of songs across their existing catalogue, metal is included, but in such away that it caresses rather than batters you. In fact I was so transfixed with the French band’s performance it appears I neglected to take notes. Vocalist/guitarist Neige holds a shy centre stage presence which actually works with the bands dreamy borderline shoegazing music. Alcest are on the up and certainly the busy tent at Bloodstock would have had their appetite whet for the new record.
Autre Temps / Les Iris / Là Où Naissent Les Couleurs Nouvelles / Les Voyages De L'Âme / Écailles de lune - Part 1 / Percées de lumière / Souvenirs d'un Autre Monde / Summer's Glory
Two years ago Behemoth were due to make their Bloodstock debut but the shocking news that mainman Nergal had been diagnosed with leukaemia understandably caused the band to cancel. Thankfully, now steadily heading back to the stage it was fitting that Behemoth got to celebrate their frontman’s continued return to health with a headline set at Bloodstock. Nergal himself noted after a punishing Demigod, “One thing my friends, it was worth the wait”.Understandably this was not a marathon long set, with the band cherry picking a shorter selection of their best material. In fact, without perhaps having the profile of this year’s other headliners, that more selective approach worked in the bands favour, combined with their visual impact to keep the crowd’s attention.
Ov Fire and the Void / Demigod / Moonspell Rites / Conquer All / Christians to the Lions / Alas, Lord Is Upon Me / Decade of Therion / At The Left Hand ov God / Slaves Shall Serve / Chant for Eschaton 2000 / 23 (The Youth Manifesto) / Lucifer